I have always been a fan of lanterns for extended power outages, night fishing, and lighting a tent on a camping trip. There is no telling how many lanterns that I have owned, ranging from really old school kerosene lanterns to Coleman fuel / gas varieties and even some battery operated versions that I picked up over time. The single issue that I have always had with any lantern is their overall durability. Now, I know there are some Coleman fans out there about to light into me and tell me that they have an old Coleman lantern that belonged to their dad or granddad that works great and has for years. Let me go ahead and cut that off by saying that I believe you and in many ways I will agree with you. However, the issues that I have with fuel type lanterns go beyond their durability (cracked glass, replacement of mantles, pump seals, etc) and transverse into their other issues which include fuel and associated hazards from their operation. I have long been searching for a battery operated lantern, that has durability but also offers comparable functionality to other fuel lanterns.
On the same note, the issue that I have always had with a battery operated lantern is that they are either not well made, their run time is not sufficient for my uses, and the light that they emit is very limited in nature or a combination of all three. So, when I received the DORCY L.E.D. Twin Globe Lantern in the mail the other day, I really did not have high hopes that this would be the battery operated lantern that I was looking for, if that lantern even exists.
Taking this lantern out of the package, I inspected it very closely, but the first thing that stuck out at me was the fact that this lantern did not have the same “cheap” feel that most other battery operated lanterns have. The housing, handle, and globe are constructed out of a very heavy duty plastic but without batteries the lantern still felt very light. The handle ratchets and has a relatively sturdy, flip-up hook for hanging. Overall, the lantern was not loose and there appeared to be no rattle over the entire unit. Batteries are installed in the unit by removing the bottom, screw-on ring base that is sealed by a rubber gasket. The lantern operates on four D-Cell batteries, which do add significant weight once installed.
Battery installation was simple and once installed, I ran it through several table top tests. The control knob has four positions in the following order: night light, off, single LED, double LED. The control knob turns easy enough for single handed operation, but it is also tight enough that you do not have to worry about over shooting a setting. Cycling through the settings several times, the only drawback that I noticed was the momentary “blackout” when switching between single LED and double LED operation.
According to the information on the box the lantern is fully waterproof, offers 160 lumens of light, and various run times on 4 D-Cell batteries. When considering the advertised run times and basing it on roughly six hours of run time at the longest each night you can expect 100 nights of night light use (600 hours), 58 nights of single globe use (350 hours), and 29 nights of double globe use. Of course, one would reasonably expect that the lantern would be utilized in all three settings each night and in most instances, the most common use would probably be the night light setting for the longest duration of those six hours and the double globe setting accounting for the shortest time frame of those six hours. Also, I would imagine that the quality of the batteries utilized could skew the runtime in one direction or the other, but in any event to be able to expect between one to two months of runtime on 4 D-Cell batteries is pretty impressive.
Luckily, I had a camping trip planned with my son the weekend after this lantern arrived at my house. So, I got to test it in the field and even put it through some planned and unplanned testing events. Right off the bat, when we were unloading the truck, my son tossed the lantern out of the back of the truck along with the tent. Of course my first thought was “great, it is broken before I really got to see what it could do” but to my surprise, other than a little dirt on the base, the lantern was no worse for wear and still worked. We set up camp and then went to set out our set hooks in the lake.
Before dark, I decided to test the “fully waterproof” function of the lantern and dipped in under the water. I held the lantern fully submerged under the water for a full minute and when I pulled it out again it still worked in all settings. I then dunked it under the water again for a full minute with the double globes lit and it still worked and continued to work while we finished setting our lines. As for illumination, the single globe setting was more than sufficient light to light the interior of a twelve foot john boat and allow you to see what you were doing in the bottom of the boat. The two globe setting seemed too bright and almost overpowering, so it was not utilized on the water that much. The night light setting came in handy when running between lines and trying to maintain some semblance of night vision for the most part.
Back at camp, the two globe setting was more than sufficient for cleaning fish from our early line runs and lit the small camp site well enough that flashlights were not necessary for general movement. In the tent, again the single globe provided ample light for the tent space but I opted to use the double globe setting while reading a magazine. With a 6 yo in the tent with me, the night light was a nice option and we left the night light burning for two hours before going on another line run and then allowed the night light to burn the remainder of the night. Also, I did not have to worry about the possibility of fire or my 6 yo grabbing the wrong part of the lantern in the dark like I do when I utilize my Coleman Lantern.
Overall, I am really impressed with the DORCY L.E.D. Twin Globe Lantern. While not quite as bright as my Coleman Lanterns, it performed well and it comes with the added benefit of being more durable and more portable. If you are looking for a quality LED lantern for camping, temporary power failures, or TEOTWAWKI, the DORCY L.E.D. Twin Globe Lantern is definitely worth checking out for yourself.